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Before reaching out for coaching…”Life was filled with anxiety, like I was covered in a dark cloud, no ambition, no direction, no answers, depression, sadness, frustration, and hopelessness. Asking what is even is the point of living if it is this miserable. I had negative thinking and feeling like I was getting picked on by the universe. No guidance, no one to talk to about it without feeling like a burden, and isolated.

Now I feel like I am fighting for a dream, I have a reason to keep moving forward, and a realization that I am in control. If I am not making the decisions and designing my life, I will just be blown about wherever life happens to take me haphazardly. I realize the importance of feeling alive and thriving, and not just surviving and existing. I have mental pathways and new ways of thinking that have been opened.

I am now able to find forgiveness towards myself, to be kind to myself, and to cut the dead weight and emotional baggage I have been dragging around. To give myself permission to set everything free. I feel the extra energy that I can now put toward positive things. Being positive is something I have always struggled with. I felt like too much bad has happened to me for me to wear rose colored glasses.

And yes, I have had my trials but I have learned to go around and bypass the broad “YOU MUST BE HAPPY OR SOMETHING IS WRONG WITH YOU” sign I feel has always glared at me. Even as I saw counselors before, they were saying you have to choose to be happy, and this just never resonated with me. I couldn’t choose to be happy because I didn’t know how. I didn’t know how to let go of the negatives things I had been carrying.

I didn’t know how to give myself permission to dream and to not look down on myself because I wasn’t accomplishing the cookie cutter successes dictated and articulated by cultural or social expectations. I still have a long way to go, but as long as I move in the direction that feels right, I find comfort that its not just a light switch ON for happy. It was completely unachievable the way my other counselors had framed it. I lost my father to cancer, I have had failures in school, marriage. and relationships. I have been hurt by relationships. I have felt misunderstood. I feel guilty because how could I complain, my life isn’t that bad, or it could be worse. But it is my life, these are the shoes I walk in.

I carried a lot of hurt with me. But I feel like I have learned to be gracious with myself, to be patient and kind to myself. and to not be my own worst enemy. I feel like in the back of my mind I always knew this was what I had to do but I never gave it the time and attention to work on it. I can see the positivity reflect into my life because I stop myself from negative thinking, and I stop other people from negative self talk and thinking. I have used each of these modules in different areas, whether it’s breathing to let go of a stressful moment and reset, or allowing myself to sit down and dream up my life by figuring out how I am going to do that, and taking the steps in that direction.

I have looked for support from people and couldn’t get what I was looking for. This program became something to lean on. I gave it what I could and will continue to do so.”

Sara Ashley - Blue Rapids, Kansas

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